Courts can not interfere in selection process: SC

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New Delhi, Jan 1: The Supreme Court has ruled that the decision of the selection committee can not be disturbed unless and until it is actuated by malice or apparent mistake has been committed.

The ruling was handed down by a bench comprising Justices A K Mathur and Markandey Katju while backing the judgment of the Karnataka High Court dated October 6,2005, upholding the decision of selection Committee headed by a member of the Union Public Service Commission(UPSC) Subir Dutta and members including chief secretary, additional chief secretary, to the state government, Principal Secretary, Revenue Department, senior most Divisional Commissioner and two nominees of the central government, selecting candidates for the 8 posts of IAS officers to be filled up from the members of non-state Civil Service Officers of the government of Karnataka through their promotion to the IAS cadre.

The apex court dismissed the appeals of the officers who were not selected by the Selection Committee.

The court also noted,"Therefore, the view taken by the high court is correct that it is always within the power of the Selection Committee to record its own assessment about the selection which may be at variance with that of the reporting officer or reviewing officer.

We have to trust their assessment unless it is actuated with malice or apparent mistake committed by them. The selection by the expert bodies unless actuated with malice or there is apparent error should not be interfered with. Lastly the high court considered the cases of the two candidates who were eliminated by the selection committee and their cases were not sent to the Commission for selection to the IAS cadre. The High Court also found that this was the selection process by the screening committee headed by the state chief secretary," The petitioners included M V Thimmiah, K L Loknatha and others.

In all 41 candidates applied and 39 were considered by the selection committee.

The Central Administrative Tribunal, Bangalore, allowed the applications of the appellants and set aside the selection holding that it was malafide and arbitrary. The High Court however set aside the order of the Tribunal.


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